Chairman's Newsletter: August 2020
Greetings WWT Family and Friends,
I pray you and your families are well and enjoying the summer.
I want to begin by thanking everyone for your very kind condolences following the passing of my mother. Although we are saddened at her departure from this Earth, we rejoice in knowing she is at home with the Lord!
As we prepare to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Wide Technology on Aug. 27, I want to acknowledge and thank two very special people — Jim Kavanaugh and Julene Tojo, who along with myself are the only "originals" from when WWT was founded in 1990.
WWT would not be the company it is today without these two visionary leaders and I am grateful for their faithful dedicated service.
While our country continues to battle racism on many fronts, Jim and Julene were way ahead of the curve in embracing diversity when they put their trust in me 30 years ago. We were a diverse team – a black man, a white man and a woman.
When I think of how far WWT has come since 1990, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. There have been so many wonderful people who have worked together as one body to build WWT. I am thankful for our outstanding Executive Leadership Team, which faithfully serves our customers, partners and employees.
There are many employees who have dedicated more than 20 years of their career to WWT, and each year we welcome new members to the WWT family! I am grateful to everyone for their tremendous support! Praise God for the things He has accomplished through all of you!!
Despite the challenges we have collectively faced this year, I am awestruck by the countless personal stories of perseverance and overcoming tremendous adversity. We emerged stronger and wiser as a result of these stories of courage, perseverance and hope.
With each story, I have learned more about the person sharing their journey as well as myself, and I am grateful for the growth this has afforded me. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
As you heard from Jim during our last company update, WWT is undertaking a critical new Diversity & Inclusion initiative focused on employee storytelling. I am a big believer in building relationships with friends, families, customers, partners and community. Real relationships come from a sense of connection and belonging, feeling valued and significant. I am excited about the Listening Tour because storytelling does just that.
I encourage anyone who wants to tell their story to jump right in. Let me start by sharing some of my story here. We are focused on integrating the frontline feedback we receive from our Listening Tour into the Integrated Management and Leadership (IML) curriculum. Thank you to everyone who has shared your story. You are making a difference!
As you read a little about my upbringing, you will see the spirit instilled by my parents is one reason why I am excited to be chairing the Concordance Academy First Chance Campaign. “To whom much is given, much is required.” Concordance Academy is helping to improve the quality of life for ex-offenders, their families and communities. We know our criminal justice system has a disproportionate impact on Black families. I am honored to do my part in helping to provide others a new lease on life.
Despite the challenges brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, our numbers for the first half of this very unusual year are strong. Your hard work has led to outstanding service to our customers and enabled us to grow our market share at a time when so many other businesses are struggling. Because of our collective resolve and determination, we are able to again reinvest into our business — unlike many of our competitors.
Our Information Services and Application Services teams have increased market relevance amid the COVID-19 environment, driving higher than projected margins. The ATC platform is focused on building deeper customer engagement and being a “community creator.”
In a very short timeframe, our service teams have organized into a cohesive, virtual unit. I cannot thank you all enough for your tremendous efforts! Truly inspiring!
I hope you have been able to join and find solace during our WWT Prayer Calls, which are held every other Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. CT. Thank you to the team who coordinates and produces these amazing times of fellowship!
We have hundreds on each call and have been blessed with special guests such as Bishop TD Jakes, Dr. Willie Jolley and my own pastor, Terri Swan, from Salem United Methodist Church here in St. Louis. Each guest has delivered inspirational messages to quench thirsty souls! We have heard sensational spirit-filled music from the likes of Bebe Winans, Chris Walker, David Sanborn and Alice Soyer and Denise Thimes to name just a few. We have a very special guest lined up for our next call — planned on Aug. 19. I won’t spill the beans, but I can assure you will not want to miss this call!
Our Board of Directors remains inspired by the dedication of the WWT family and the commitment of our leadership to take a cautious approach to reopening our campus. We all thank you for making WWT a Great Place To Work for the ninth year in a row — a remarkable accomplishment and testament to the world class employees we have across the world!
In closing, I share with you the devotional from our July Board of Directors meeting, Turning Hurt Into Harvest.
May God continue to abundantly bless and protect you and your precious families!